2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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American, Lake Aloha 5/23-5/26

Post by mlskn_needed » Fri May 30, 2014 9:11 am

Route: Echo Lake to American Lake
Conditions: PCT free of snow to Haypress Meadow. Extensive snow after Haypress, snowboarders were hiking in to slide around Pyramid Peak. Lake Aloha has many holes in the snow. No biting mosquitoes at the time. I saw at least four campfires :mad: around Aloha.

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Re: 2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by skyehawk » Fri May 30, 2014 11:22 am

Hey mlskn_needed - when you say that Lake Aloha has many holes in the snow, do you mean that the lake was still partially frozen? I would hope that it was mostly melted out by now. Or does it mean that the snow around the lake is patchy? Thanks so much!

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Re: 2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by maverick » Fri May 30, 2014 11:38 am

Please PM member with questions about any areas of interest. Thanks
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Falls Creek, Yosemite, 5/26

Post by tomba » Sat May 31, 2014 2:15 pm

Falls Creek runs high, as expected. Seems hard to cross. See photos. Click to enlarge.

Outlet of Lk. Vernon, just below the bridge.
In Jack Main Canyon, here on the map. Some snow in the distance.
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Re: 2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by AaronRDavis » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:52 pm

Vandebergh/Lady lakes area off Beasore road/Norris TH in Ansel Adams 95% snow free. Couple creek crossings are ankle deep. Only snow found in small shady north facing spots.

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Twin Lakes-Silliman Pass, Lakes Trail, Woods Creek 5/29-5/31

Post by franklin411 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:05 pm

Twin Lakes-Silliman Pass, Lakes Trail, Mist Falls 5/29-5/31

Route taken on 5/29: Twin Lakes trail to Silliman Pass
The Rangers at Lodgepole told me Silliman Pass was snowed over, but I found it to be snow-free. Water crossings were 4-6" deep at most. No mosquitoes.
View from Silliman towards Ranger Lake:
upload pictures

And towards Silliman Peak:
upload image online

Route taken on 5/30: Wolverton to Lakes Trail (Watchtower Route) to Emerald Lake
The Rangers at Lodgepole said that the Watchtower Route was closed due to ice/snow, but when I arrived at the trail junction the sign said it was open. I took the Watchtower Route up and had no real problems, aside from one patch of snowed over trail near the canyon wall. Later I ran into a couple who met the Pear Lake Ranger on her way up. Apparently the route is still closed, but the Ranger was going to take it up to see if it was safe to open it yet. No mosquitoes yet--and I ate lunch right next to a pool of standing water.

Difficult Section:
One 10-15' long section of snowed-over trail near a precipice. I didn't have any trouble but others might. Here's a pic:
image ru

Route taken on 5/31: Roads End to Mist Falls, small detour up Sphinx Creek trail because I wanted to see what I could see. I recall crossing over 4 wooden bridges *after* the wood/metal bridge spanning the South Fork of the Kings River, but only the lower two had water under them.

There were several mosquitoes around me near the river.

View towards the Sphinx:

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2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports - Glen Pass

Post by Hobbes » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:28 pm

Carrot Quin, a popular PCT blogger, posted an interesting description of her trip over Glen yesterday:

http://carrotquinn.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

She's got a couple of good shots of the snow coverage from the top of the pass @ her Instagram link.

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Mineral King Area 5/30-6/2

Post by dapperdave » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:39 am

Mineral King area
Blackrock pass was snow free on the western side, the eastern side had patchy snow down to the second lake. (30th May)
Franklin pass was snowed in all across the ridge, trail not obvious (2nd June)
Both passes doable with trail runners
Chagoopa plateau trail - pretty much melted.

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Emigrant Wilderness 5/30-6/4

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:06 pm

Route: Gianelli TH, Y-Meadow Dam Lake (trail), Toms Canyon (x-c), Toe Jam Lake (x-c), Cherry Creek (x-c), Upper Relief Valley (trail), Iceland Lake-Ridge Lake-U Lewis Lake-Lewis Lake-Summit Creek (x-c), Emigrant Lake (trail), Buck Lake (trail), Long Lake (x-c), Wire Lakes (trail), Spring Meadow(trail), Cherry Creek (x-c), Leopold Lk (x-c), Toms Canyon (x-c), Granite Lake (x-c), Y-Meadow Dam Lk,(use trail), Gianelli TH (trail).

Difficult parts: all trails had snow patches, lots of mud, less used trails were hard to follow. Snow was icy early AM , OK to walk on with about an hour sun, OK until about noon, thereafter deteriorated. Lots of wading creeks, from knee deep to ankle deep (all easy). Crossed Cherry Creek above the waterfall from Wire Lakes. Crossed Summit Creek above confluence with Lewis Creek. Upper Relief Valley to Iceland Lake and down to Lewis Lake- had to do some rock scrambling to avoid snow. Trail to Upper Relief Valley was VERY muddy. Pass to Emigrant Lake very snowy on north side, a muddy mess up top, and dry on the south side.

Special Equipment- trekking poles a must. Knee high gaiters useful. Had to time snow walking to avoid icy conditions (microspikes may have been useful).

Light frost every night and fairly cool daytime conditions, except last day (6/4) when it was significantly warmer.

5/31 Iceland Lake - open
Ridge Lake- froze but breaking up
U. Lewis Lake - frozen - barely breaking up
Lewis Lake - frozen but breaking up

About 50 large Rainbow trout near crossing above the inlet to Emigrant Lake. Spawning?

Large bear walking on rock slabs on west shore of Long Lake

See trip report in a few days.

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PCT Donner to Anderson Peak 6/7

Post by jimandluba » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: 6/7/14 conditions on PCT, Donner Pass to near Anderson Peak

Today I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail south from the TH off of old US 40, to north of Anderson Peak. Snow patches covered many sections of the trail near Mount Lincoln. Only one long, sloped snow field crossing the trail presented a challenge, and caused at least one hiker to turn back during my hike. I would recommend taking trekking poles and mosquito repellent. Many wildflowers, great views of snow-covered peaks. Little wind.

This is my first packcountry conditions report posting. I don't know how to include photos in this posting, or else I would include a photo of the one difficult section, plus one of Anderson Peak. - Jim

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